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In our modern world, technology is constantly evolving. From time to time, it comes up with new inventions and trends. The start of this century has seen a boom in modern state of the art tech. Looking 17 years back into the 20th century and one can realize how far we have come. And in this ever rotating wheel of technological development, Augmented Reality seems to be a really hot topic these days. From Samsung developing its own A.R glasses to Iphone rolling out its latest A.R apps, the world is certainly more than interested in this new technology.
The concept behind this new innovation is confused with its half cousin (Virtual Reality) on many occasions but is quite different. Augmented Reality does not transcend its user into another contemporary reality (like V.R). Instead, it only adds certain advanced features to the 3 dimensional Real World feel of the user. And so here, we discuss the top 4 tools used these days in Augmented Reality.
Vuforia seems to be the brand embassador these days when it comes to A.R development tools. It is currently supported by 325,000+ registered developers with 400 app installs the world across. This cutting edge tool offers support for a huge range of A.R features. Some of the notable ones include the detection of several targets (including objects, images and text), 2D and 3D recognition, virtual buttons and much more. It is available for Android, iOS and Unity. It also has a version for smart glasses (as the ones shown above in the video) that is currently in its beta phase. Vuforia, however has one draw back and thats the absence of a complete framework manual. This can result in complications for first time Vuforia users.
ARToolKit is a set of A.R software tools that can be used in A.R apps. Its main benefit is an open-source code that provides free access to its library. It supports only 2D recognition, mapping of additional elements via OpenGL, Optical head-mounted display support etc. It can be operated on different platforms i-e Android, iOS, Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and SGI. Each O.S needs its own development environment though. These environments are free for all the mentioned platforms. Yet, despite free access to the AR library, the development documentation is quite limited for the ARToolKit. Moreover, the wide range of functions makes it difficult to integrate the library. The process therefore takes more time to explore all options and settings.
According to comparisons, Kudan is the main rival of Vuforia in the A.R development race. It offers innovative computer vision technology along with the best Robotic and Artificial Intelligence applications. It has various features like class image recognition, low memory footprint, markerless tracking etc. Kudan is also much faster than other frameworks of its kind. It currently has support for Android & IOS platforms.
However, the most notable thing Kudan is undertaking is developing the link between the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence. This is being done through 3D Recognition Computer Vision Technology. This process enables computers to acquire, process and analyze digital images along with the ability to map the 3D environment and understand its location within it.
Wikitude is an all-in-one A.R development platform. It has almost 100,000 registered AR developers and accounts as the provider for almost 20,000 A.R apps. Its library can support 2D and 3D recognition, scanning real objects for recognition, location tracking and many more features. It can be used for both Android and iOS. Its documentation is also well established. Through Wikitude, developers can also create apps to reconstruct places at the virtual map.
Augmented Reality is a technology which is only in its initial phases right now. Its development tools therefore are also in their infant stages. With time & growth, both these dimensions will surely grow and encompass wider utilities. Augmented Reality, along with Virtual Reality is surely to stay for the coming years.